I ’ve been a very bad blogger. And I must say, I’m truly sorry. It is my goal to provide you lovely readers with healthy, delicious recipes on a weekly basis; in the past month or so, I have fallen short of my self-set quota. So much so that my archives tell me I posted only four times in June and a measly three in May. Shameful.
Life just gets crazy sometimes, you know? And when that happens, it is important that time to ourselves and for ourselves – for me, that’s 90 minutes of yoga as often as physically possible and quality time with this man I’m marrying – isn’t sacrificed. We must fill up to pour for others. Or else we just run on empty for weeks, months, years on end, and completely forget what we have to offer. All of that to say that, unfortunately, the blog is the thing I’ve had to let go for a little while. Sun salutations, time with loved ones, wedding planning, job-securing (this market is not too kind to freelancers) – all of these priorities have had to take precedent over this electronic cooking diary I’ve come to adore. Please know, I plan to continue researching, cooking, eating, enjoying, and writing about the experience. It just might not be as often as I’d like. But soon enough, I’ll be blasting you all with so many rants and recipes, you’ll offer to personally put me on the first flight back to Denmark. (I’d go, just so you know.)
Thanks for sticking around. Talk to you next week!
ZUCCHINI is a tender, bright green summer squash. It is cooling, hydrating, and contains vitamin C, calcium, and potassium. Seek summer squash that are relatively small (flavor diminishes with size and age) and heavy for their size, with soft, brightly colored skin, and plump flesh. Avoid overly large squash or specimens that exhibit discoloration, bruises, or soft spots (there will inevitably be small scratches on the skin – that’s okay). Store summer squash in a towel-lined, airtight container (preferably glass), for up to 3 days.
ZUCCHINI & OLIVE OIL MUFFINS
MAKES 18 MUFFINS These muffins are fast, nutritious, and delicious! Using two different sweeteners here, maple sugar and honey, adds dimension and prevents either ingredient from overpowering the other flavors. Perfect for a light Sunday brunch or lunchbox snack! I’m not going to tell you to slather one of these babies with a cream cheese frosting; however, if you are feeling particularly indulgent, or need to trick a youngster (or adult for that matter) into eating a green vegetable, you should. If you opt for a loaf instead of muffins (see Notes below), please don’t miss the chance to toast a slice and top it with a liberal smear of good butter and thick, raw honey – it’ll make you want to weep with joy.
2 cups stone ground whole wheat flour (I used Red May Wheat from Anson Mills) 1/2 cup maple sugar (or Rapadura, Sucanat, or Muscavado) 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon fine sea salt 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper 1/2 cup cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons walnut oil (or extra virgin olive oil) 1/2 cup local, raw, unfiltered honey 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger 2 large farm fresh eggs, beaten 1 1/4 pounds zucchini, rinsed and towel-dried, shredded (about 4 cups)
This batter is barely sweet – how I like it. If you prefer your muffins or quick-bread on the sweeter side, you can make one of two (or both) adjustments to this recipe: Substitute 1 cup all purpose flour; Add an additional ¼ cup maple sugar.
This recipe works wonderfully as a quick bread (See photo above). Simply pour batter into a greased (I spread olive oil on with a paper towel or basting brush) glass or cast iron bread pan (8.5” x 4.5” x 2.5”). Increase cooking time to 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners and spray or brush with extra virgin olive oil. Spread the walnuts on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment and bake until toasted, about 7 minutes. While still warm, fold the walnuts into a clean kitchen towel and lightly rub to remove the bitter skins. Let cool and coarsely chop.
Sift the flour, maple sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and white pepper into a medium bowl; whisk to combine. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, honey, vanilla, grated ginger and eggs.
Gather the zucchini into cheese cloth or a clean towel and squeeze dry. Stir the nuts and zucchini into the wet ingredients. Add the dry ingredients in small batches until thoroughly incorporated. Using an ice cream scoop, spoon the batter into the lined muffin cups. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until the muffins are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of one muffin comes out clean, about 23-27 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool to room temperature. Store in airtight container, at room temperature, for up to four days.